Let’s Talk Options

With the sky darkening in Cincinnati in the 4th inning, I put this dire thought out on Twitter:

Terrifying thought: what if this game gets rained out before it’s official and there’s a DH tomorrow? Who starts this weekend, Hershisher?

Now that the rain delay is pushing an hour, with Josh Suchon on KABC saying that it’s raining harder than it has all night, and Dylan Hernandez suggesting that play may not resume until 10:45pm eastern – if at all – let’s play devil’s advocate and look at what may truly become the worst-case scenario for the Dodgers:

What happens if this game doesn’t resume and there’s a doubleheader tomorrow?

It’s truly the worst of all possible outcomes, because not only would the stellar shutout that Hiroki Kuroda has going be wiped from the books, Kuroda wouldn’t be available for the do-over tomorrow. Clayton Kershaw would get his normal start, of course, but then what? Jeff Weaver and a bullpen game?

But it’d get worse. With Chad Billingsley going on the DL today, the Dodgers are already forced to keep Carlos Monasterios in the rotation for a start against Boston on Friday. (Oddly enough, the Rule 5er won’t be the least-experienced pitcher, as the Red Sox may give Felix Doubront his major-league debut). The original #5 starter, Charlie Haeger, is pitching  his third inning right now for ABQ. And not a single one of the season-opening AAA rotation is available (Towers released, Ely already up, Lindblom converted to relief, McDonald on the AAA DL, and Elbert away with personal issues).

If there’s a doubleheader tomorrow, you’d have to think something along these lines happens:

Wed — Billingsley to DL, Schlichting up
Wed, Game #1: Kershaw
Wed, Game #2: Weaver and bullpen
Thurs — Schlichting down, Link up
Thursday: Ely
Friday: Monasterios, bullpen, and prayer
Saturday — Link down, Padilla up
Saturday: Padilla
Sunday: Kuroda
Monday: sweet, merciful off-day.

Not exactly the situation you want going into Boston, is it? And that doesn’t even get into this team’s predilection for extra-inning games lately.

Of course, even if this game does come back tonight, it’s still a problem. Kuroda was being counted on to deliver substantial innings, and he was holding up his part. But he almost certainly won’t be re-entering after such a long delay, meaning that Weaver and the rest of the bullpen crew would be responsible for at least five innings tonight. So while I’ve outlined the three possible roster moves we could see, depending on how things go, what else could we see? Could they bite the bullet and DFA Justin Miller? Come up with a phantom injury to whichever reliever pitches the most? And then call up an AAA retread like Juan Perez or Seth Etherton? Activate Haeger? Reach down to AA for Kenley Jansen?

It’s a mess, no matter which way you slice it. But that’s what makes baseball so much fun.

…right?

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